Expanding its foot print further in the Middle East, global ride hailing company Uber has announced that it is acquiring its Dubai-based rival Careem in a deal that would be worth about $3.1 billion.
Established in 2012, Careem is operational in 15 countries across the world and is a strong force player in countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Following the acquisition, Careem would continue to function under its own brand name but as a subsidiary of Uber.
“This is an important moment for Uber as we continue to expand the strength of our platform around the world,” said Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi in a statement.
“Careem has played a key role in shaping the future of urban mobility across the Middle East, becoming one of the most successful start-ups in the region,” he added.
After the deal gets over, the Dubai-based ride hailing company would be headed by the company’s co-founder and its current chief executive Mudassir Sheikha. The dela however would require regulatory approval from regulators of a number of countries where both Uber and Careem are operational.
There have been reports and speculations that Uber is getting prepared to get itself listed on the New York Stock Exchange and analysts view that the this deal would add on to the credential of the largest ride hailing company in the world and help in boosting its share price once listed. According to reports, the initial public offering could value Uber at as high as $120 billion.
Despite the meteoric rise and expansion of Uber from a small startup to become a behemoth and a unicorn startup very soon and spread very fats to a large number of countries in the world, the company has in recent times had its share of controversies. It has been accused to underplaying divers while over working them. There is a path breaking law suit going on against it – filed by its drivers, demanding that they be recognised as employees and not as contractors of the company which would force Ube rot give them all of the amenities that are mandatory to be given to employees. The company is also facing opposition from both private hire drivers and regulators in a number of countries across the world.
Earlier this week, Uber drivers in London filed a lawsuit against the ride hailing company alleging that the company has been repeatedly violating European data protection regulations.
Apart from these, the company also faced a series of scandals in 2017 which included sexual harassment claims made by female employees of the company, several instances of data breach of private information about its users as well as of its drivers, allegations of making use of illicit software to thwart government regulators, and the company forcing the resignation of its chief executive Travis Kalanick.
(Adapted from BBC.com)